Friday, September 30, 2016

Surges and the Sea

When individuals in colder climates build snowmen, San Diego's surf surges into foam creatures.

Bubbles rise. Forms and shapes nudge curiosity with creativity.  

The fun begins ...

A shape slithers on the rocks.

Sea dragon emerges,
arching his spine.

A sea horse whinnies in the sunshine.

A California creature ambles on the rocks.

Is it a baby elephant
swaying its trunk?

A pair of hippos jump into the surf.  

Squint and imagine. Notice a friendly ghost rising to surprise you?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Meet Triumph and Disaster

At age 10, while training to play competitive tennis, I had the opportunity to visit the Wimbledon tennis courts in England. My father pointed to the sign over Center Court which read, “Meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters the same.”

He encouraged me to think beyond any impossible challenge to make I’m Possible my mantra. The words of the sign stuck with me. I did not really understand their meaning until I had to deal with winning and losing in high school tennis tournaments and other interscholastic sports.

Years later I discovered the quotation came from the poem, “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

One of the most important strategies I developed involved my outward attitude. I began to realize how it affected my opponent. I learned to judge a missed shot with an inner laugh and straight face. Positive body language worked to my advantage.

My efforts to prevent my competition from observing my frustration took a long time to establish. I had to make it authentic from the inside out. As I developed my self-confidence when losing, I realized my power over an opponent. My ability to keep in touch with I’m Possible turned many games around in my favor. I also gained strength from my opponents’ frustrations.

Never permit your opponent - whether disguised as frustration or a cranky mood - to dislodge that belief you have in yourself.

The more you discover about yourself, the more strength you will bring to all of life’s encounters in relationships or competition. Each win or loss will provide more experience for the next level of achievement.

Write your accomplishments.

How do you achieve success?

Write your feelings and frustrations. How will you overcome them?

What does failure mean in each circumstance?

Let humor become your ally. Do not look back but continue writing onward. Record all of your efforts. Writing about your life's opponents will help you learn ways to defeat them. 

Then, on a day when Triumph or Disaster intrude upon your feelings and focus, read about the ways you charged beyond challenges. Build upon these skills for the future.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Experiences into Writing Adventures

Describe an early experience with as much detail as possible from your child's mind and in reflection as an adult.

Sift through favorite possessions.  What stories run through them to you.

How did a certain period of history affect you, friends and family?

Describe your most memorable childhood pet.

Write your relationship with a teacher.  Did he or she make a lasting contribution on your life?

Music is a trigger for stories.  Did you take music lessons?  Think about a humorous incident. List tunes that elicit memories and write about them.

Add firsts as fast as you can in a page of writing: childhood trip, date, kiss, job, accomplishment.

Write all of the above from someone else's point of view: parents, siblings, best friend.

Don't forget to include sights, sounds, scents, and flavors.

Let experiences lead you into writing adventures.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


William Archibald Spooner, a British clergyman and educator had to speak in public. Because of nerves, his tongue got tangled.  He would say things like "a blushing crow" when he meant  a "crushing blow." Spooner's letter reversals because legend and gave listeners a laugh.  By 1900 his name inspired the word, spoonerism.

Consider transposing words and play. Imagine signing flosser for flying saucer.

Try having a Tun Fime.

Get into a doyful jay.

Let your tang tungle.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Power of an Evolutionist

Each day we discover ways to create beyond life's challenges. When obstacles emerge in our arena, we move away, over and around them. We breathe and think of how we have accomplished the difficult before. In this way we become an evolutionist rather than survivor of the events.

Dr. Jonas Salk believed ideas are prompters toward "change." When examining the nature of brain and mind, ideas have the power to influence and transform. They lead to unpredictable experiences.

"Ideas evolve just as do living things," Salk said. In their way ideas are an evolutionary feedback system cycling from the evolutionary process and prompting further, higher evolutionary jumps.

Salk revealed, "I think of biological knowledge as providing useful analogies for understanding human nature.... People think of biology in terms of such practical matters as drugs, but its contribution to knowledge about living systems and ourselves will in the future be equally important.... Attitudes are expressed in terms of prolife and prohealth. These changes we're observing are part of a natural order and to be expected from our capacity to adapt. It's much more important to cooperate and collaborate. We are the co-authors with nature of our destiny."

Salk defined a "biophilosopher" as, "Someone who draws upon the scriptures of nature, recognizing that we are the product of the process of evolution, and understands that we have become the process itself, through the emergence and evolution of our consciousness, our awareness, our capacity to imagine and anticipate the future, and to choose from among alternatives."

Become an evolutionist using change, collaboration, and cooperation to engage with the nature of life.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Percolate with Smiles

Autumnal awareness increases connections to elevate the spirit.

Discover expanded freedom of creativity and choices.

Find a true reverence for life.

Explode in self-expression.

             Explore passions.

Follow nature's examples. Nourish your roots and strengthen your foundation.

Upgrade your self-care.

Add a tingle and hint of humor to situations.

Notice a rose's smile.

Invigorate the influences that nurture and support you.

Percolate with smiles.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Start a Nature Journal

“Frog calls and the sound of intermittent splashings drew me to cross the brook on stepping stones that seemed to have been set out for my passage.  A short push through tall, thick growth brought me to an opening at the edge of a pool where the lowering sun cast an otherworldly light across dark water.  It glimmered in dragonfly wings and sporadic silver-beaded sprays tossed up by leaping frogs.  Sweet songs from unseen birds drifted on the still air.  Everything was new to me, every sight, sound, and smell a new experience. “  David Carroll from Self-Portrait with Turtles

Start a Nature Journal. Let the subtlety of your landscape soak in.  Choose several locations: a park bench, a rock ledge at the beach, a forest or any location where you can sit for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. 

Capture what the landscape sounds like. Touch and smell provide a visceral jolt to writing. 

Find out the names of plants, animals and natural forms you observe.  Free write and let the words direct you.  Enjoy the writing process.

Many questions will surface:  Who am I?  Why am I here?  What is my responsibility to nature?  

You will discover how nature teaches rhythms and reverence for change from the migrations of animals to the blossoms of spring.

Try these warm ups:

l. Listen for the sounds of the familiar in your garden: water running, a bird song, dog barks, and wind in trees.  What sounds do you identify with home?
2.  Imagine the scent of an orange grove in blossom or a peach tree in the sun.  What scents move around you?  What will the sound of rain add? Can you combine the senses in your writing?
3.  Gail Brandeis encourages writers to describe eating a blackberry recklessly. Bring a fruit or vegetable to eat during your journal keeping.  Can you add taste to your writing?
4.  Give flavor and texture to your writing with visual imagery that moves away from the ordinary. 
5. Consider the mental senses: pain, fear, love, humor, reason, intuition. Translate these with concrete descriptions.

Add the fun of play.

Write on into nature.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Always Ready

People of accomplishment rarely let things happen to them. They happen to things. 
Leonardo da Vinci

The United States Coast Guard has a motto, "Semper Paratus" (always ready).  It's a motto for everyone to work toward. 

When life surprises us, we need a backup plan. 

How do you prepare in advance? Organization begins with a simple mindset. Do you have two or three extra tissue boxes, paper towels? Don't forget the toothbrushes and bathroom rolls.  

Nature shows us how it prepares.

Consider your preparedness habits.

Are you ready for the unexpected?
Find ways to create beyond challenges. 
Get ready. 
Start today to define your motto of semper paratus.